Wednesday , October 20 2021

Fire at Baghjan Oilfield in Tinsukia, Assam

There has been impact on the nearby areas because of the heat and noise generated from the blowout well of Baghjan field.  Approximately 3000 affected families were evacuated to rehabilitation camps set up  by the district Administration.  M/s TERI has been engaged for Ambient Air Quality (AAQ) monitoring and Bioremediation, CSIR North East Institute of Science and Technology (NEIST) has been engaged for Seismological Study and IIT, Guwahati has been engaged for heat impact through Thermal Imaging. There has been no casualty of local residents. However, Oil India Limited (OIL) has lost three employees.

District Administration has constituted a committee for assessment of property loss for which OIL has to deposit the compensation amount to district administration for disbursal to the affected families. So far2,756 families have been identified for compensation till 08.09.2020 in Doomdooma and Tinsukia Circle. ₹ 10,93,50,500/- has been deposited with District Administration by OIL for providing one-time compensation of ₹30,000/-  each to the 3645 affected families.NGT has also directed payment of interim compensation:-

  1. Category (i)   :       Rs. 25.00 Lakhs (whose houses have been completely gutted by fire)
  2. Category (ii)  :       Rs. 10.00 Lakhs (whose houses have been severely damaged).
  1. c)   Category (iii) :       Rs. 2.5 Lakhs (whose house have been moderately /partially damaged or   whose standing crops and horticulture have been partially damaged).

Under category (i), compensation amount of Rs. 25 lakh each for 12 families was handed over to Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) office for disbursaland57 houses under category (ii) and 561 houses under category (iii) have also been identified for compensation.

OIL’s Safety measures include Safety Awareness, Inspection & Audit, Safe Operating Procedures, Safety Trainings, Emergency Response and Mock Drills, Employees Participation, Occupational Health Monitoring, Personal Protective Equipments, Contractor Personnel Safety Management, regular Safety Meetings, Near Miss Reporting, Accident/dangerous occurrence reporting, investigation and analysis, Monitoring Health Safety & Environment (HSE) and technological upgradation.

Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has constituted a three Member Inquiry Committee to inquire into this incident.  In addition, Inquiry Committees have also been set up by Directorate General of Mines & Safety (DGMS), and Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), Govt. of India. Two officers of OIL directly looking after the operations of the well before blowout have been suspended.

Major onsite incidents in the last three years reported to Oil Industry Safety Directorate (OISD), are given below :

Sector 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 (till Aug’20)
Pipelines Nil Nil Nil Nil
Refineries 06 10 07 01
Oil Fields/ Wells 08 06 03 01
Total 14 16 10 02

In most incidents of gas leakages in any pipeline, the oil & gas wells are closed immediately to prevent fire/loss of oil and gas and after carrying out leakage rectification job, operations are normalized and production is restored.

Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas regularly monitors and reviews various safety measures in the oil & gas sector and directs the companies from time to time to take suitable measures to ensure safety in these installations. OISD, a technical Directorate of Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas formulates safety standards for the entire Oil & Gas Industry. The Directorate carries out regular safety audits to check and review whether the safety standards and norms are being followed by the industry. The audits include External safety Audits & Surprise safety Audits at periodic intervals to cover all the existing installations; pre-commissioning safety audit of all new facilities being added to the existing installation & new installation being set up, before commissioning of the facilities. In order to prevent such accidents in future, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are also being re-visited for making improvements, if any.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Shri  Dharmendra Pradhan in the Lok Sabha today in a written reply.

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